riverman's progress log

well, today is my 28th birthday, and I finally managed to weasel a seat post onto my uni (the one I ordered keeps getting delayed). I’ve been hopping around on it without a seatpost for the past two weeks, but I am not going to count that. making today my “official” first day of unicycling will be easier to remember, so here we go.

Day 1.

-learned how to free mount two different ways. first way was with right foot on the pedal, crank at 6 o’clock, slowly shift all of my weight onto my right leg until I can lift my left leg to the pedal, then tip over after one or two revs. not enjoying the fact that it was taking me a good 10-20 seconds to commit to lifting the left foot, I decided to incorporate my newly acquired seat/post into the mix. after a few attempts, i found a way that works effortlessly. right foot on pedal, crank at 9 o’clock, seat cocked firmly in my crotch (wow, that was rich with sexual innuendo, sorry!), and all it takes is a little push off with the left leg, and I’m golden! I’m not sure how the rest of you learned to mount (grabbing the tyre? that sounds crazy hard!), but I find it easier to freemount like this than holding onto a wall. the added bonus over my first method is that I start off in motion which helps a bit with the lateral balance issues I am having.

-with a seat on this sucker, I can stand on the spot with little hops like a pogo stick indefinitely. I was already able to do this (sort of) without the seat/post, so it doesn’t really count as progress I guess

-before I got my uni, I had a drunken night with a friend’s uni, and my drunken maximum distance was a whopping 2 revs. with the first freemount method, I was only able to get one rev before I would tilt to the left or right, but with the new one, I can make it on average 2-3 revs before I fall to the left or right. my maximum distance to date was achieved today, which was 4.5 revs into the wall. thankfully, even though the wall stopped me from getting a few more revs in before tipping over, my brain had yet to think about the mechanics behind a unicycle hitting a wall. as the uni slid out behind me, while I tried to correct using all the wrong techniques, my body was gracefully splayed onto the wall infront of me, and I slid down it like a cartoon character.

-still can’t get my brain used to the lateral tilt of a unicycle, but my back/forth cadence is good. when I tilt to the left, my uni twists to the right naturally instead of twisting with the lean, evening itself out. this is an unnatural motion that I am going to have to commit to muscle memory with great effort, but this issue aside, I am quite pleased with the day’s progress. tomorrow’s goal is to get this damned tilt thing under enough control that I can actually ride down the street instead of being confined to the shed. wish me luck!

<3 riverman

Good luck! There, I did it. Are you satisfied? :roll_eyes:

Day 2.

after drinking a large amount of birthday beer, I decided to head to the corner store at 3 AM on my uni. this four block trek took me 45 minutes, but it was a blast. the uni ejected me no less than six times, sending me falling flat on my ass. skate shoes + fresh snow + alcohol = poor footing. a hung over mess, I’ve been scooting around work all day, yet I feel like I’ve actually backtracked. i couldn’t even make it two revs, I just kept toppling over. hopefully it was due to the tired brain, but my day was an absolute bust in the progress department.

You’ll be surprised how much a good nights sleep will help you when you’re first learning. You can be trying all day and never get it, but then after a good sleep, it becomes second nature.

I can reccomend 2 mounts to you. One is the first one you did, that is how I learned, and it is my go-to mount for anything 24" and smaller. The other mount I reccomend is the step up mount (dunno if this is the real term for it) But you have one crank back at 9:00 and you place all your weight on your foot on the ground, and then jump off that foot and place it on the front pedal, the key to this mount is to put no weight on the foot that is already on the pedal as you are jumping up. Once you learn the second mount, rolling mounts and jump mounts are pretty easy.

Watch the first mount that terry does in this video. Notice how he jumps off his left foot, he also explained it to me as if you were standing facing a curb, hold your right up like captain morgan, and then jump off your left foot and land your left foot on the curb, without moving your leg that is in the air.

This is completely normal when learning a new skill so don’t let it get you down. Progress is sometimes deceptive in its methods and while I’m not completely sure of the reasons for it, even being well rested won’t prevent “off days” during the learning process. You really are learning even during those times you think you aren’t.

Good point. When I’m doing really bad or getting frustrated, I just stop for a while, maybe for the day, there’s no sense in getting more frustrated. Usually if I’m not doing well and improving, it’s because my mind is somewhere else.

I was the same way when I started though, I can envision myself doing [Blank] perfectly, and it seems like I should be able to do it! You try and try and it seems like you’re in the same place you were when you started, but then one day it just happens without you even having to think about it.

And that same cycle happens every time I go after a new trick or skill, whether it be in unicycling or any physical activity that I’m learning.

It all takes time, no matter how fast of a learner you are, or how much you practice.

I think my wimpy leg muscles may have had something to do with it as well. my once proud chicken legs are now sore and achy, so I guess I gave myself more of a workout than I thought I did last night. as far as the mounts go, the second one you mentioned is going to be tomorrow’s mission, thanks for posting it.

I am normally a patient guy, but i am going to get frustrated if I can’t ride this thing in a straight line soon >_<

Day 4.

spent all of day 3 in bed with terribly sore thighs from the night before, and an awful cold/flu. still sick, but my legs are better, so i did some stretches, tossed on some shoes, and hopped around my house for a while. I’m going back and fourth between my walls without much issue, though it’s only about 2 revs max. I’m not sure why, but I find it easier to pedal backwards than forwards :S

decided to try my hands at 180 unispins since pogo sticking on the spot is the only thing I can handle. almost landed the first one, but my right crank was about 3" higher than I thought it would be. now I have a really sore ankle to go with my already aching testicles. going to bang off some homework for a while, toss on a set of hitops, and try this again

Day 14?

Not much practice during the past week, been busy with school. Still only able to make it 3-4 revs before toppling over.

-freemounting is now easy as pie
-not bashing my ankles up as bad (not riding with all of my weight on the seat helped with this for some reason
-learned a crappy 180 unispin mount (sort of)
-managed to land a few 180 unispins, but bashed my ankles pretty badly in the process
-that’s all so far.
Going to work heavily on just riding this week so I can hopefully start using this thing for transportation

Day 19

something in me clicked, and it now makes sense. I can ride a uni finally! unfortunately, I still can’t ride my trials uni at home. the thick tyre doesn’t turn with the ease that my work uni does with its skinny tyre. going to try to get the hang of my trials uni down over the weekend, and hopefully be confident enough to finally use it for transportation.

thanks for the wealth of tips and encouragement, unicyclist.community. you guys are great!